Excuse me a moment while I pick up the pieces of my heart that shattered all over the floor upon finishing this book.Ahem.While I enjoyed The Immortal Rules, I didn't completely love it, and so went in to The Eternity Cure with anticipation of a good story, but nothing earth-shatteringly brilliant.I was so wrong.The continuation of Julie Kagawa's dystopian vampire series is a nonstop journey of brutality, heartbreak, and action that leaves the reader literally on the edge of their seat, desperately wanting to know what's coming next, but afraid to turn the page. She's not afraid to show us just how awful this world is - the Red Lung virus that nearly wiped out civilization decades before has mutated into something even worse - and she doesn't shy away from showing us this world in all its horror. To say that this is a brutal and frightening read is an understatement. It is much darker than The Immortal Rules.Because I want to stay as spoiler-free for this series as possible, I can't go as in depth about certain things as I would like to. I will say that each of the major characters we met in the first book make an appearance, including one extremely deranged individual who is quite terrifying to read about. I was also really pleased to get some background on the world, like the history of the virus and how it spread so quickly and killed so many. The journal entries early on were horrible to read (at least for me personally) because I could so easily see why the scientists were doing what they did. I liked that Kanin's role in the entire fiasco was also further explained, because he's so hated by nearly everyone that I wanted to know exactly what he'd done to deserve such vitriol. And this book also served to further tie each of the characters together, which I also enjoyed.While it takes a while for Kanin to make an appearance, I just want to say that - aside from Allison - he is easily my favorite character, and I was SO glad when he finally showed up again. I also really liked the banter between Allie and Jackal. This world is very bleak, and there are some truly awful things going on, so his smart comebacks and disregard for human feelings were sort of refreshing to read and kept the book from diving headfirst into darkness. Not that there isn't any of that, of course - this is still an end of the world book full of horror and despair - but he definitely helped provide levity and keep the reader grounded. He very much has a teasing older brother tone to his interactions with Allison, which had me laughing several times throughout. I personally think he's an absolutely fascinating character and I can't wait to see how his story plays out.The Eternity Cure is a fantastic followup to The Immortal Rules, and surpasses its predecessor in pretty much every single way. There is loads of character development, new twists and turns, and tons of page-turning action to keep every single reader thoroughly engrossed in the story. Be forewarned, though, that the ending of this book will break your heart; I don't know how I'm going to wait a whole year for the final book! Even if you were only feeling so-so after book one, you MUST read this one before you make any final decisions about this series. I daresay The Eternity Cure might just change your mind!An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***To see more of my reviews, please visit me @ Read and Reviewed!